Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On the open roads in Minnesota, more and more drivers have been running into a small and elusive roadblock: Wild turkeys. They appear to be the cause of a deadly motorcycle crash near Montgomery.
Toni Huber, 26, died when her motorcycle rear-ended a truck that had slowed down for the birds in the road. Huber of New Prague, Minn., was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Wild turkeys have a made a comeback. The population is at around 75,000, the largest it has been since the 1970s, when the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began a re-introduction program.
“My husband always talks about them. There are so many out there now,” said Donna Ginter of New Prague.
“They do well here. We do have a lot of them,” said Bill Penning of the Minnesota DNR.
Wild turkeys can be found in fields and forests in rural areas and they do have a tendency to wander, sometimes posing a risk to drivers.
Even though the DNR placed the turkeys in rural areas, the population is getting so big the birds are even making their way into the metro areas.
“Turns out urban-suburban areas make great turkey habitat,” said Penning.
The upcoming hunting season is one way to keep the wild turkey population in check, as people around state begin to notice that one of our bigger birds now has a larger presence.
Many local ordinances don’t allow people to fire a gun within city limits, so the turkey population keeps growing in the metro areas.
Turkey hunting season runs twice a year from mid-April until the end of May and the entire month of October.